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Deconstructing The Content Strategy Cycle: Phase Two

In preparing for this blog series, I wrote a one-page content strategy outline (how ironic). I asked myself, how could I make this blog post on content strategy more interesting?

The next phase of the content strategy cycle is the creation and formatting of your new content. How you create and format your content depends on what audience you’re targeting.

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On the web (specifically Google), when people are looking for information they do something called “pogo-sticking”. They go to Google, type in a few keywords in the search bar and then jump back and fourth from a website, back to search results, and to another website until they find the information they’re looking for.

Say you were on the hunt for a new recipe for dinner tonight. You have the choice to read a post that’s a big block of text or a post with equal amount of text but broken up with headings and step-by-step pictures. Which one would you read?

Chances are, you’d read the second post. That’s because it was formatted correctly for the platform and the audience.

For example, the Dumb Ways to Die campaign is one of the most successful public service announcement campaigns because of it’s quirky (and catchy) message and the channels the campaign was on. McCann, an advertising agency based in Melbourne Australia, created the campaign. The agency was assigned to create a public awareness campaign about being safe around trains for Metro Trains Melbourne, targeting young adults.

Straying away from traditional ads that might not have been as effective on young adults, McCann created video that could easily be shared by their target audience. They even released a karaoke version. Alongside the video came the game app that users could play and take a “pledge” promising to be safe around trains. The app allowed users to connect with friends and share their game scores on social media, creating an interactive and personal experience.

What started out as a viral video turned a song that reached the top 10 on iTunes and then turned into an app with over 130 million downloads. The campaign now has additional game apps, a children’s book, and a line of plush toys.

Tips to make your blog content easier to read and easier to share:

Having a blog on your website increases website traffic, positions your brand as an industry expert, and develops better relationships with your customers.

  • Use visuals: video, gifs, pictures.
  • Break up text-heavy content with headings. This makes your content easier to read and more skimable (which is useful for those darn pogo-stickers.)
  • Keep your tone consistent with your brand. A news publisher is going to have a much different tone than a company that sells diapers.
  • Edit and proofread your content. Look for spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors. Try to simplify sentences whenever possible. (I’m guilty of using the word “that” too often.)
  • Incorporate social media links and tags. This makes it easy for your audience to discover your content, share your content, and interact with your brand on social media. (We will get more into detail about the importance of social media in the next post.)

Consistency versus frequency

Now you have to determine when to share it with the world. Lindsay Kolowich, of HubSpot, published a great article outlining the best times to post on the five main social media platforms. You can view the article here. Keep in mind, that the best time to post also depends on your target audience.

There’s a big difference between consistency (when) and frequency (how much). Finding a good balance between the two is key to building a good relationship with your audience. You never want to overwhelm your audience with information, but at the same time you don’t want to ghost your audience making them forget your brand exists. Avoid posting everyday, but post at least once a month.

Determine when you’re going to post, how often you’re going to post, and how much you’re going to post. To make this process easier, we’ve a made a content calendar called “12 Months of Awesome (Content) for socially responsible businesses” that you can download by clicking the link below.

12 Months of Awesome Content

This calendar highlights important dates for 2016 and gives your company content ideas for your website, blog, and social media.

Congrats! You’re halfway through the content strategy cycle.

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